7 MAY 1927, Page 26

The Wall of Glass. By Amabel Williams-Ellis. (Cape. 7s. 6d.)

To be quite frank (yes, we are going to be cruel), Mrs. Williams- Ellis has written an unexciting although capable novel. About its capacity there can be no question ; taken in little bits at a time it is a brilliant piece of descriptive prose.

But the general effect (as the publisher suggests on'the wra is that of Frith's " Derby Day." The Wall of Glass con much personal and some profound observation of life, such only a clever person could make who had looked on the with eyes very wide open, also there are some charming (a cocktail-shaker flashing like a blunt-nosed silver fish one taken at random—there are many others as good or and there is much cleverly-seen and vividly-phrased life " both above and below stairs.

The whole section dealing with the Labour Summer Se can be praised with real enthusiasm, as also some je pages beginning " Bet they'd a blind 'ere," describing arrival of caterers on the morning after the big party at Carlton House Terrace." Again the women are well dra if not very vital.

This is a book of uncommon quality, with a Proustian cans but the first purpose of a novel is to entertain, and it is that Mrs. Williams-Ellis fails.